Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tea Addict in the Blue Mountains

What a week, I got the tea I ordered from The Tea Spot as well. I am inundated! They have the best tins! They stack! Without sliding all over the place. The bottoms are recessed to fit the tops and there you are. Hear that all you other tea merchants – stacking tins that don't slide, take note.
But I bet you other folks would like to hear about the tea itself. It is Organic Blue Mountain Nilgiri Black Tea. The Nilgiri estates are in the extreme southwest of India, in the Blue Mountains. I wonder if they have a blue haze, as do the mountains of our own Blue Ridge? The dry tea smells very fresh and is an attractive mostly black that is almost a deep shimmery midnight blue, with a few reddish brown leaves for contrast. I brewed up the usual teaspoon at 212 for about 3.5 minutes. It infuses to a soft light amber. The taste is almost delicate, almost sweet, almost berrylike. It really is a very nice tea, perfect for an afternoon or morning after you have a sturdier black to wake up to. (Some of us don't do morning very well). It is an added plus that it is organic.

I am really torn about organic teas. I do believe we should live as lightly as possible on the earth and do try to buy organic teas. However, I find that some of the ones I like the best are not organic. And some of the organic ones just don't taste as good as their non-organic brethren. So I just muddle along, as you probably do.

Beyond that question, I have a really serious problem. I want all the tea in China, and Sri Lanka, and India and all the blends and... Well, you get the picture. A terrible sickness, especially when one has a budget, already sadly blown to bits and there are so many other teas! Really, there are so many that sound so good, even as I am learning what I like and what I don't like. Sometimes I'll get suckered in by a name or a tin or it's one I've not tried, or it's an old favorite or a new twist on an old favorite I've run out of. So many excuses, so little time or money. An ad for some huge lottery was on TV last night and wouldn't you know it, I thought about all the tea I could try!


Babette said...

I appreciate your comment about the organic designation. To further complicate the situation, many of the teas you love might qualify as organic but the plantation cannot afford to become part of that system. I lived for a week in a small Chinese tea village that has always been organic. The small amount tea they are able to produce is in great demand but they cannot yet afford to become listed as an organic grower. One thing the internet offers us is a better way to communicate with the growers and people who have been to remote locations. It adds so much to the pleasure of the tea when we know more of its story.

Marlena said...

I understand about the costs involved. My dairy farmer cousin, near Utica, NY just went organic and it was expensive! He is hoping to recoup some of that by appealing to a different market. Also, he is much happier with a system that is kinder to the animals. The "new way" of doing dairy - for the past 20 years or so - wears the animals out by the time they are 5 or 6, with lots of problems or lots of drugs on the way.
Back to tea - I am so glad you wrote about this - hope you do a blog on it. marlena

Steph said...

Stacking tins would be AWESOME!!